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Civil War Military Units from Minnesota: Brackett's Battalion of Cavalry

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Brackett's Battalion of Cavalry


 
Brackett's Battalion of Cavalry
In October and November of 1861 three companies of cavalry, known as the First, Second and Third Companies of Minnesota Light Cavalry were recruited at Fort Snelling.  In December they reported to Benton Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri where they combined with four companies from Iowa, three from Nebraska and two from Missouri to make a regiment of cavalry known at "Curtis' Horse" .  This regiment was commanded by a regular army officer, Col. W. W. Lowe.  The new regiment's Major was Alfred B. Brackett, promoted from command of one of the Minnesota companies.  Curtis Horse was assigned to General Grant's command and took part in the capture of Fort Donelson, the Shiloh and Corinth campaign and fighting against Confederate raiders in Tennessee and Mississippi.  In the summer of 1862 the name of the regiment was changed to the 5th Iowa Cavalry, much to the chagrin of the Minnesotans.  They continued to serve in Tennessee as part of the Army of the Cumberland, guarding communications and supply lines against Confederate raiders.  The Minnesota Companies reenlisted in January 1864, and after lobbying by Senator Ramsey and Major Brackett the War Department reassigned them to their own battalion under Brackett's command, thereafter known as "Brackett's Battalion".  They were soon sent to the frontier and became part of Gen. Sully's expedition against the Dakota. Brackett's Battalion continued serving on the frontier until June of 1866, making the three companies the longest serving units from Minnesota.

Books

Brcakett's Battalion: Minnesota Cavalry in the Civil War and the Dakota War, by Kurt D. Bergermann.
St. Paul, MN: Borealis Books, 2004
MNHS call number: E515.6 .B73 B47 2004

The Civil and Indian War diaries of Eugene Marshall, Minnesota Volunteer, by Clark G. Reynolds.
Thesis [M. A.] Duke University, 1963. 
MNHS call number: Microfilm #106

Manuscripts

Eugene Marshall, Narrative of the Civil War, 1861-1862.
Civil War reminiscences describing the service in Tennessee of three companies of Minnesota volunteer cavalry that later became known as Brackett's Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Charles A. Bennett diary, 1865
Diary kept while on march with Brackett’s Battalion through southern Minnesota, Iowa, and Dakota Territory (April 5-October 8).
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (M438). 

Brackett's Battalion, Battalion Order Book, 1864.
Copies of orders received by the battalion, which consisted of four cavalry companies commanded by Captain Alfred B. Brackett, while serving against the Dakota Indians on Minnesota’s northwestern frontier.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (BG4/.M522b).

Alfred B. Brackett Papers, 1861-1868
Reports, orders, newsletters, commissions, and other items primarily related to the service of Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry during the Northwest Indian Expeditions (1864-1865) against the Dakota Indians in Dakota Territory, but also including a few items from the time that the battalion was part of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry fighting in the South (1861-1863).
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1568).

Willoughby and Louisa Wells and Family Correspondence, 1861-1866.
Letters to and from Willoughby and Louisa (France) Wells, residents of Blue Earth County, Minnesota, principally while he served in the Civil War with Company I, 5th Iowa Cavalry (1861-1864) and with Company B, Brackett’s Battalion. The letters discuss the Dakota War of 1862, Willoughby’s impressions during the Civil War, and his separation from Louisa while she stayed with her parents in Iowa.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P2746).

Abstract of the History of Captain A. B. Brackett's 3rd Company, Minnesota Cavalry, Organized at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, November 1, 1861. 1861-1864.
Succinct, handwritten notes, in chronological order, on the movements, camps, commanders, officers, and engagements of Brackett’s Battalion. The record was kept from December 31, 1861 to November 9, 1864 by Lieutenant Mortimer Neely, previously of Company K, 5th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry. The battalion traveled through Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky as part of Civil War campaigns and raids,and was sent to Minnesota and the Dakota Territory during the Dakota Indian wars. 
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P80).

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